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Path: Queen Songs - Forum - Song Analysis: A glam rock songBookmark and Share

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Bruno: A glam rock song12 Oct 2005 22:57
What does it take for a song to be a glam rock? Is it only the arangment? The acoustic guitar? Strumming? Does glam rock has its special scales? What are typical scales for a glam rock solo or a melody?
1.Sebastian 13 Oct 2005 05:25
It's hard to label a song into a genre per se. The strumming pattern "can be" related to glam in the sense that it was a common aspect in T-Rex and Bowie but it might have been merely a coincidence.
2.PD 13 Oct 2005 12:09
Also: what makes a song "new wave"?
3.Sebastian 13 Oct 2005 13:48
Now that I think about it, the arrangement is in most cases what makes a song to be in certain genre. That's why they say "this is 'x' song in prog version", "this is 'x' song in trance version". If so, then:

New Wave: Clapping version of the chorus, drum machines with few variants over the part, bass-loops (generally a Jupiter 8), synth-solos, e-pianos, synth-guitars, robotic voices. Most of the new wave acts had punk influences, that's why most of the new wave tracks have the same kind of chord progressions. That's the first genre being almost entirely machine-based, since disco conserved the use of (real) brass orchestras, for instance.

Glam: acoustic strumming, melodic soloing, guitar harmonies, singalong choruses, melodic bass-lines, nasal guitar sounds, repetitive structures, riff-basis, 2:30-4:30 lenghts.

That's of course ambiguous in the sense that none of those "features" can be absolute. As Bohardy said about Jazz, you cannot actually tell what it is. Of course comparing Glam with Jazz is comparing a pool with an ocean, but the concept is the same: you can easily find songs universally considered "new wave" lacking one or more of the points, none of which are circumscribed per se, and viceversa: Crazy Little Thing has a clap-along section but it's not in the slightest way new wave.

David's and Marc's strumming style could have influenced Glam rock in the sense they incorporated it, and it could have influenced Roger in 'Drowse'. That track might have some other glam influences in the mood of the bridge (both melodically and harmonically), the production and the lyric's style. Then perhaps we can correctly say 'Drowse' is a glam-rock piece even if it's not a Glitter-esque stadium anthem.

Nowadays - and it'll probably become the standard later - a song/album/band is so heterogeneous that it's utterly impossible to label it. Take the Illusions albums for example: one 5-8 minute song can easily be influenced by jazz in the break, by classic rock in the chorus, by grunge in the riff, by art-rock in the string arrangement, by flamenco in the acoustic arrangement, by protest in the lyric content, by Christopher Marlowe in the poetic style (e.g. use of blank verse), by Noel Coward in the use of pun, etc. Many of those neo-punk bands are hardly ever punk in the music or lyrics - let alone arrangement and production -, they're punk only in the hairdo and "suck your system" attitude.
4.BrianMay 13 Oct 2005 23:28
marc? david?
5.Sebastian 14 Oct 2005 04:42
Bolan Bowie
6.Bruno 14 Oct 2005 12:50
What songs by Queen are glam one way or another? Drowse, Flick Of the Wrist (I read it somewhere), Tenement Funster (just a guess)... ?
7.Sebastian 14 Oct 2005 14:09
Mick Ronson's style could have influenced Queen's approach in melodic soloing and warmth. That can be a Glam/Ronson influence that the band used for many of their songs from Queen I to Innuendo. Tenement is indeed quite T-Rexy; Perhaps a couple more in the Sheer album have glam influences here and there.
8.BrianMay 14 Oct 2005 14:12
I think Glam is more a image than a style. I'm sure when a band like N Sync record a song with strummed acoustic guitars, catchy chorusses, guitar harmonies you wouldn't call it glam
9.Sebastian 14 Oct 2005 21:52
Yes, like I said above: neo-punk is only "punk" in the crest and outfit. Avril Lavigne is the quintessence of "belonging" to a genre or style only because of the image.
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